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Funding levels revealed in skills strategy

The publication of the Government’s Skills for Sustainable Growth and Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth has been welcomed by CITB-Construction Skills.

The two documents reveal the strategy for new measures to provide funding for training for young adults aged from 19 up to 24 with no qualifications to undertake their first full Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) or first Level 3 qualification.

Government will also provide loans to learners over 24 years old to undertake Level 3 or higher qualifications from 2013.

CITB-ConstructionSkills chief executive Mark Farrar said: “The previous split between 14 to 19 and 19+ vocational learning has never made much sense and there is a real need to create a level playing field for 19+ funding.

“Combined with the recent CSR announcement that 75,000 new adult apprenticeship places will be made available, this is welcome news for adults seeking to ‘re-skill’ and ‘up-skill’ in the construction and built environment sector, particularly as industry slowly moves out of recession and returns to a period of growth.”

In the skills strategy published by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Skills, there was also strong endorsement of the construction training levy as a model that could be exported to ensure the better coordination of training across the country’s other economic sectors.

The Government also placed Sector Skills Councils at the centre of implementing the new skills strategy in future.

This included developing National Occupational Standards and an apprenticeship framework tailored to the needs of the sector.

The Government also continued to support CITB-ConstructionSkills’ role to assist employers in shaping the skills system and authority on labour market intelligence for the sector.

Other commitments contained within the Government’s skills strategy for adults include: investment of £605 million in adult apprenticeships in the 2011-12 financial year; £210 million in adult and community learning, to support personal development, inclusive communities and a route into formal learning for the disengaged.